Google sent shock waves around the digital marketing community early this year when they announced they would be introducing a built in ad blocker to Chrome next year.

Some thought it was a myth, others thought it must be an elaborate joke. But no, it is very real and according to TechCrunch, it has already been seen in pre-release versions of the Chrome Canary app for Android.

Google has already pre warned publishers and there is no word yet on when we will see the blocker in any beta releases.

So why an ad blocker and what does this mean for digital marketers? This actually makes perfect sense. Google is looking at why people install third party ad blockers (which cut into Google’s ad revenue). Basically, people hate intrusive ads.

So rather than leave the blocking up to the third party tools, Google wants to control their own destiny by removing the need for them. The inbuilt Chrome ad blocker will tackle “intrusive ads” and help to create a better experience for users, without removing Google’s most valuable revenue generator.

This does, however, raise a lot of questions about what this means for non-Google ad platforms. If Google dominates the ad space AND control the gateway for Chrome users (the largest web browser by far), then what does this mean for the competitive landscape?